Why you shouldn’t dismiss the practice of gratitude

This month I’m going to step away from the physical side of our health and focus on something a bit more “esoteric” or “New Age speak”. I’m talking about the practice of gratitude.

I feel that so many of us spend a lot of time focusing on the negative aspects of our lives as opposed to the positives. For example, we focus on the fact that we never have enough money, we’re so stressed out, we wished we had straight hair (instead of the natural curly hair that you have), you might have a bit more padding around that belly than you’d like, etc. Sound familiar? 

Some of you may have heard of the law of attraction – Energy flows where attention goes, so if you spend a lot of time focusing on all the negatives in your life, that’s what you’re going to attract! It’s like sitting there listening to a record that keeps repeating itself over and over again without getting up to change the record and listen to something new because.. well quite frankly… we’re too lazy to do it.

And you know what? I’m guilty of doing all of the above. I was so focused on my lack and the negatives that I very rarely celebrated the wins and what I actually had. I had heard of the practice of gratitude, which is to be grateful and appreciate everything that you have in life, but when I tried it, it didn’t necessarily work out for me because I found it difficult to embody. Even if I celebrated certain wins like a new client or whatever and it felt GREAT, it didn’t last long as I would go back into that old pattern and focusing on what I didn’t have.

Some people practice the art of gratitude by journalling every day – my partner does this and it works well for him. However, it doesn’t work for me – I’m not a big journaller. I tried the practice of recalling everything great that happened during the day as I lie in bed at night and being thankful for that but if I’m honest, that didn’t really work for me. I was getting increasingly frustrated because SURELY life wasn’t meant to be THAT big of a struggle right? Why aren’t things flowing for me?

So what did I do? I signed up to a 30 day meditation practice with my shamanic teacher and got into the habit of meditating every day. When this finished, I signed up to another 9 day abundance meditation and I started to notice something shift – I started noticing things that I had and when something happened to me that was in my favour, I celebrated and I REALLY felt grateful about it. I embodied the feeling of gratitude and it felt so fantastic. I don’t know if you guys have ever meditated or ever gotten into this “zone” where everything is just so blissful, calm and peaceful, where you know that everything will be OK – but that is probably the best description I can give you right now about how feeling grateful feels to me.

The real clincher and change in my gratitude practice came afterwards though – instead of doing a RECAP of the good things that happened to me during the day, I started off with a gratitude meditation as soon as I woke up. I’d lie in bed and start just imagining what my ideal day would be like and then I’d imagine how I’d FEEL when I got that ideal day.. and that was the key – if I really embodied and anchored in the feeling of well.. just the day going to be an AWESOME day, then it actually happened! EVERY SINGLE TIME. I would literally lie there, feeling that bliss that I was describing before, and just floating in it. My days all of a sudden looked brighter, and great things happened. Events that had been stalled for so long began to move.. and move to completion which were all in my favour! When these things happened during the day, it just amplified the feeling that I had anchored in the morning and it kind of felt like a snowball effect – I mean, it just keeps getting better! I’ve been doing this for the past 2 weeks and it really has brought about a great shift to my life. One of my colleagues commented on the fact that my energy felt fantastic and electric and I have to agree 🙂

So for me this is a great example of why you need to celebrate what you have and the little miracles that occur in your life. The practice of starting your day imagining what the your ideal day will be like has the effect of shifting your energy to start off on the right foot. You know how there are times where you wake up going “uggggh I have to go into work to deal with that crappy project and my micro manager?”. When you do that, you’re already setting yourself up for a terrible day. When you wake up and before you reach for that phone beside you, or get up to start your day, just consider lying back, closing your eyes and just imagining what your ideal day would be…. for example, what would it be like if that boss didn’t micromanage you and let you do what you wanted to do? what would it be like if all of a sudden a number of workmates put their hand up to assist you with that crappy project? Things would be a lot easier right? If you start your day off in the right foot, chances are things are going to flow better for you, and when they do, make sure you pause and be really thankful that it did – and then pay attention to more miracles flowing your way.

I’d encourage you all to try this practice and let me know how you go!